Friday, July 24, 2009

As a Loaf of Bread

Life is a series of ferments which may be reversed. When we stir up a sponge for bread we put in a little yeast and a little flour for it to work upon. All night long the yeast particles are busy separating the solid wheat particles and filling them with yeast-life. In the morning the entire mass is beautifully “light.”
Everywhere in creation life and light are synonymous terms. Even the “lightness” of bread sponge is its aliveness.
Now, what do you do with a light sponge? You use it to leaven a loaf. You stir it down, and stir in more flour, and knead and knead it until there is a big, solid loaf—within which is the germ of life. Again the yeast-life works, until the whole mass is “light” again—until all that wheat flour you worked in has been separated and made light or alive. Perhaps you repeat the process several times, before you finally kill your bread by baking it.
If you let your dough rise too long, you know what happens —it gets “too light”; the yeasty principle has nothing more to work upon; the loaf is now all yeast; it begins to get sour, and then bitter; it grows porous, gaseous; its surface becomes wrinkled and its once round, smooth cheek falls in; it shrivels; and in due time, if let alone, it will dry up and blow away.
Good, live dough is not the result of a fermentation, but of a series of fermentations, each arrested at the proper moment, and more flour added.
Human life is like unto it. The human being who works and works on one line becomes sour and wrinkled. In order to make good human beings they should be allowed to work on one line until they are full of lightness, of the joy of life. Then there should be kneading down and a new beginning.
Now, this is all in your mind. Fermentation is a mental process. The “ferments or enzymes” are the life or mind principles drawn, not from air or water or carbon, but through them. They are “spirit,” love, life. The “wheat flour” consists in the facts which are worked into your mind, and upon which your soul-stuff works, digesting, assimilating it. The same identical process takes place in a loaf of bread that takes place in your mind. All is life. ALL IS MIND.

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth Towne (1865-1960)
    I neglected to add her name to the loaf of bread metaphor on this post. sorry...
    More excerpts from Joy Philosophy:
    I AM the ideal world. Ah, that is where the sun shines and youth plays eternal and almighty.

    Do you know that your ideals and desires are really YOU?— the I AM of you? Your body and your doings and even your education are but white caps on the surface of YOU.